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A2 Media - Evaluation
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  • 1. Evaluation By Imani PrattCandidate n.o 7142Centre n.o 12534
  • 2. Contents• In what ways does your media PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4 product use, develop or PART 5 challenge forms and conventions of real media products? PART 1 PART 2 PART 3• How effective is the combination of your main PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 product and ancillary tasks?• What have you learned from PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 your audience feedback? PART 4 PART 5 PART 6• How did you use new media
  • 3. Contents In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Use and development of conventions• One convention of Pop videos which I included in my own was the tendency to use bright or bold colours in the Mise-en-Scene. For example, red is used persistently throughout the music video where the character is; in the bedroom, at the café and on the stairs. The colour red is very bold and eye catching, hence it works to draw the audience in and at the same time give off a sense of liveliness in the atmosphere. The colour red is also a symbolic code which connotes the main theme of the song: love, and attaches a romantic atmosphere to the mood of the song. The use of this convention can be identified in singer Rihanna’s ‘Whose that chick?’, the use of bright and bold colours are appealing to look at and present her as being someone fun, lively and /or simply tune with her younger target audience. Usually a convention of POP and even RNB videos is that the video has a narrative where the lyrics link directly to what is happening in the song. This is definitely evident in my music video where the structure of the video has a beginning, middle and end in its format (a Todorovian structure).Usually the beginning is where the narrative has equilibrium (a balanced situation and event) for example, the beginning starts of with the main character in a classroom doing her work. This is a usual setting for the protagonist and hence presents equilibrium. At the bridge part of the song where Kemi’s part is, the pace of the song and visuals slow down as slow-motion is used, in addition to this the main protagonist is no longer present. This is an evident change creating a sense of disequilibrium in the narrative. At the end of the song it crosscuts back to the classroom and cuts back to the clock ticking as it was at the start, highlighting that things have returned back to normal and that she is no longer in her daydream/reflective state but back to reality. In terms of the lyrics linking directly to the song there are a number of occasions where this is demonstrated in various scenes. For example, the lyrics “seems love just skipped over me” is illustrated clearly when a flashback of a couple hugging each other on a bridge is scene abruptly for a few seconds. This is done in a longshot to create the illusion that the main character was watching them from a distance and hence it was intentionally meant to create a sense if isolation and being left out of the couple’s affair. Another example is when the lyrics “some call it day and night but that’s never been my routine” are sung. At this point there is a brief time-lapse of a tree blowing in the daylight which fades into a traffic lapse of cars during the night time.
  • 4. Contents In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? • Teenage Scenarios: This is a common convention of traditional pop videos. My music video does include this because all of my cast members are all within the same teenage age range (17 – 18) and they are mostly females which means it targets the audience that the song is probably trying to reach out to. The main teenage scenario within the music video includes a teenage female waiting to find somebody of the opposite sex to love in her life; the teenager who is named Rose embarks on a number of scenarios which remind her of her desire to accomplish this wish. For instance, in the café scene, it only takes her friend to go somewhere quickly for her to witness the couple sitting parallel to her and how much she would love to be in the girl’s position. In another scene, the character Rose is on a social networking website and it only takes a few statuses with reference to being in a relationship to remind her again that she is still waiting for love. I felt this was necessary because this enabled me to once again allow my target audience to relate to her situation through the use of common locations where they may have felt the same way as the main character.
  • 5. Contents In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?• Constant scene changes to hold the viewer’s attention: This is definitely one convention thing that is seen in my music video. I made sure to use plenty of cutaway shots to ensure the audience would not get bored. I tried to vary the type of cutaways used. For example, most times the cutaways would be the sequences of the main singer singing on the bed which would transition into the scenes of the narrative, whilst other cutaways included time-lapses. The time-lapses I used included raw traffic, the sun setting and the clouds drifting shortly before the music video is about to end. One thing I feel may not be effective is the pace at which these cutaways are carried out. My concern is that the cuts between each of the scenes are too quick for the audience to digest what is actually going on.• Fade Transitions: A lot of the editing transitions used in traditional POP/RNB music videos seem to be fade transitions. I saw this in Beyoncés ‘If I Were a Boy’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘We Belong Together’ (the two videos I analysed) and decided to use it as it seemed appropriate to the type of song it is, e.g. it is about relationships also and I also felt it carried the narrative in the song visually in a smooth way.
  • 6. Contents In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?Challenging conventions• I decided not to use any shots that tilt upwards in the filming process because watching previous music POP/RNB music videos such as JoJo’s ‘Get Out’, I realized that the effect created was that the artist appeared to be powerful, dominant and in control of her situation despite her upset. Yet, for me, I knew I wanted my character to be seen as the exact opposite, naïve, innocent and pretty much not in control of her situation – finding love and controlling time. I did feel this worked in exploring the concept but my concern is the lack of times in which it was used during the whole video; even getting feedback from the character herself and my teacher, they did say they would have liked to see more of this type of shot where the character is looking up at the camera, this is probably because it addresses the audience in quite a personal way as they are made to look in to the characters eyes and mouth as they are singing the words, this creates quite a deep connection to not just the message the song is showing but also the emotions associated with the message, i.e., hope. However, in using this shot, it can be argued that I was actually developing pre-existing conventions in terms of representation of women. For instance, Laura Mulvey’s ‘Male Gaze’ theory would argue that the use of the down tilted camera angle portrays the female as being subordinate to men in the way that the audience are made to look down on the female as she sings, as opposed to just being naïve and innocent. Therefore, use of this camera angle could have continued preconceptions about females and their status and role in society (in a feminist’s view) ; the technical code suggests that women will never be as powerful as men. Consequently, challenging specific conventions has actually lead me to inevitably develop other conventions in the process.
  • 7. Contents In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? • The use of creative backdrops was not evident in my music video despite it’s conventional use in many POP videos. This was quite a shame as I was very excited about making use of my purchased green Chroma key fabric and clothes rails. I also bought a CD which included over 500 artistic backdrops that I could have used in my video once I used Creative Backdrops give Chroma key to key the green out in the editing process. My main problem why this did not happen was due to lighting problems. The lights I had available were just not bright personality to the artist enough to eliminate shadows completely, even when the subject stood a few more and excitement to the centimetres away from the fabric. In addition to this, I could not find a backdrop that video! looked natural against the main subject and my original intention was to have the character laying down on some coloured sheets. I decided to scrap the whole idea of the green screen if it could not deliver good quality footage. However, despite not using creative backdrops I stuck to more relatable and ordinary backdrop which was the bedroom. This saved me a lot more trouble; furthermore, the fact that I spent less time on impressing the audience with ‘green screen’ effects actually worked out much more in my favour. The bedroom, didn’t need much tweaking and it already highlighted the key themes of love and romance with it’s coincidentally dominant presence of the colour red. In addition to this, if I did use creative backdrops it may not have suited the mood of the song which is quite a slow-tempo pop song as opposed to beaty and fast. • Performance based: my main product was not performance based like many of the mainstream pop music videos are. Instead I decided to opt for a narrative based structure to the video where the lyrics are illustrated in a much more literal and symbolic way.Taken from Avril Lavigne’s‘Girlfriend’
  • 8. Contents How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?Main ProductMusic Video The main concepts of my the song in my musicvideo relate to ‘love’ – finding love and‘time’, waiting for love. I therefore thought it wouldbe most beneficial to choose images from my videothat communicated these messages the best. Myoriginal intention was to include a cut out of thelove heart shown at the beginning of the bedroomscene to capture the idea of ‘love’ in the digipak butI soon changed my mind as I feel it did not lookquite as effective as another image I had takenwould have. On the next slides I will explain mydecisions of how I combined both the main productand ancillary tasks and how effective I think the finaloutcome is. Please hover over the black square to view the video. I apologize if you are having difficulties viewing the video properly or at all. You can alternatively go to my blog to view it here.
  • 9. ContentsHow effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? Digipak The digipak I designed includes a screenshot from the video of the main character Rose laying on the bed on the front cover. For the back cover the red duvet pattern is continued to carry on the red colour scheme. Whilst the left inside cover and background for the CD are covered in white snow with simple symbols: the love heart and the rose. The photo of the heart in the snow and the roses around the edges of the two panels were not originally seen in the music video but I decided to use them because I felt they were successful in portraying symbolic imagery more than any of the other screenshots I could have used from the music video. The main intention of me having the photo of the heart in the snow was to highlight the concept of searching for something that hasn’t yet been found; the heart is bold and striking to look at which makes it effective in drawing the audience’s gaze to it, but it’s full image is also hidden slightly so I do think it effectively highlights how love (romantic) for Rose could be anywhere but it has not yet been found as it is hidden away. The snow gives of a sense of innocent beauty with it’s dominant colour white. Hopefully, this highlights ideas about purity and innocence and attaches it to the image of the artist. The fact that snow is frozen implies that the heart (symbolic of ‘love’) is something being preserved for later. Interestingly, snow can also be a symbol of hope and wish fulfilment so it does to an extent effectively communicate both the emotions of the singer and the whole concept of ‘waiting’ for ‘love’ in the song. The image of the rose which appears on the back cover and the inside left is fairly simple. I chose the rose because it is a widely known symbol which most people would associate with love.
  • 10. Contents How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? Promotional Poster The promotional poster includes what I decided were the two most important images in the digipak. – the front cover image of the artist and the image for the CD. Both the dominant colours present: red and white give a distinct contrast and thus help to draw the audience in.The use of black text was used to ensure it stood out againstthe bright white background. Hence, on analysis, I think thatvoyeurism is illustrated through use of colour in my mediaproducts as opposed to costume. In some ways this may be adisadvantage to the final product because it does not show thepersona and give the artist on the cover their own uniqueattitude and style in the way that a well thought out costumemight. On the other hand, the use of a striking or otherwisevivid costume on the character would probably have distractedthe target audience from the main message of the song.I made typography for the name of the group ‘MYXX’ using the‘rage italic’ font. I made it red with a black shadow so that itstood out against the red duvet behind it. My main aim was tomake it look quite feminine as the love song is stereotypicallyaimed at females. I think the text does portray a sense offemininity as well as sophistication.
  • 11. Contents What have you learned from your audience feedback?• There are various things I’ve learnt from my audience feedback. The rough cuts I showed to my friends and family before the completion of my final music video has given me a broader insight in to what I can do to improve on my basic technological skills. VIDEOLocation, location, location!One of the best pieces of feedback I received was from a friend who advised me to scrap theoriginal filming of Rose walking across the bridge in the intro. At first I was pretty reluctantbecause I felt uncomfortable having not prepared for this change in plan. But I decided torelocate that filming scene to the field. The use of space was much better when Irelocated, allowing me to experiment with other camera movements apart from simplezooms. For the end result was a horizontal pan to the left which allowed the frame to followthe character as she walked towards the gate, I also used a close up shot which zoomed outinto a mid shot as the shot was now vertical. It is evident that this decision making hadallowed me to try out a variety of shots and angles which I might not have considered if I hadnot changed the filming location. I would argue that this particular feedback has taught meto not be afraid to experiment with different locations other than the ones planned as this canlead to better footage and more variety which viewers may find more interesting.LengthA lot of my friends at school had commented on the length of the classroom scene in the introbeing too long and when my teacher also commented on it I knew it had to be dealt with. Thiswas a pretty easy problem to solve once I decided which parts in the sequences should bediscarded/shortened, but having said that I cannot underestimate this very vital piece offeedback. Shortening the clip to about 30 seconds rather than about 2 minutes made a largedifference to the whole scene in general. It is then that I realized just how important it is forthe intro of a music video to be short and snappy! This is probably because long introductionscan leave the audience quite restless and divert their attention, pretty much the opposite ofwhat I wanted.
  • 12. Contents What have you learned from your audience feedback?The simpler, the better!Many people, particularly even members of my own cast highlighted the issue of too much camera movement in the earlierstages of my filming. For instance, I’m not sure why but I took quite a liking to the zooming in and out functions of the camera andI had the tendency to go overboard with it; at one point in filming I actually jeopardized a good sequence, I.e. where Kemi (theother member of the ‘Myxx’ duo) was walking from different directions on the street. The problem was not obvious to me atfirst, I thought to myself maybe zooming in and out was not necessary but once I knew it was an obvious problem I definitelydecided I’d better re-film for the sake of maintaining the quality of the scene. One friend said “the zooming in and out Is a bitdistracting….” while another said “it’s kind of annoying to watch.” The feedback has taught me that sometimes less is more whenit comes to filming. Having too much camera movement can impact on both the stability and the emotional response you getfrom an audience; therefore, unless I want the audience to feel ‘disorientated, confused or tense it is wise for me to have notused too much.EDITINGLip-SyncingThis had to be one of the hardest stages of the editing process. Getting the lip-syncing to match the audio track was not easy atall and I had several times where I happened to miss matching up a crucial line or verse being sung by seconds. I had askedpeople to listen to a particular part on the timeline I was trying to sync which helped me to identify these key moments properly.My most frustrating lip-syncing problem was the 2nd verse where the lines “I heard that it’s incredible ,the ultimate right” is sung.After countless tries of reducing the speed, fiddling with the duration and then cutting bits of the short sequence out, Icontinued to get negative feedback, “it’s still not synced”, “It’s like the same words are not being sung..”, I came to the conclusionthat it was not a problem I could fix by these editing technique but one that needed to be resolved in another way. This isbecause the poor ability to sync the sequence was caused by the mouth was moving at the time . This suggests that the mannerin which the words of the lyrics are being sung are just as important as the ability to recall the all the lyrics. In the end I had tocorrect this problem by cutting out the scene and elongating the previous one to fill the gap, but I learned that being in the role ofa director means I have to have a very sharp eye for detail. It has encouraged me to be a lot more sharper when directing toensure mistakes like this cannot be made again.
  • 13. Contents What have you learned from your audience feedback?To see the ancillarytasks in large click thislink Ancillary Tasks For the digipak and promotional poster I was inspired by my friend to use a different screenshot of the artist on the front cover. I considered doing this and decided to make a second version of the digipak with the new image. I then asked my four closest friends via Facebook which images they liked better. The majority of responses I got told me that the second image looked better as her facial expression looked more ‘inviting’ than in the other photo. Comparing the two pictures now I can see this is evident but for some reason I think the composition of the first photo is much better than that of the second one. Nonetheless I did change it as ultimately it is my target audience that I’m trying to appeal to through this task and not myself. The change in the photo unfortunately brought with it other problems I encountered. For instance, the image of her on the bed had to cut out from the bed background so I could use it on the other bed background in order to make it continuous with the back cover, but whilst this looked okay in the digipak panel, on the poster, apparently it made it look like the character was ‘floating’ rather than actually being on the bed. With that feedback I decided to use the little knowledge I had gained using Photoshop to correct it, and I used the ‘Blending Options’ toolbar in the Layers section to give the cut out a subtle shadow. This made the two photos appear more natural in the way that it gave the impression that she was applying pressure to the red duvet and was actually on the bed. I was happy with some of the other comments I had received from my friend. She had commented that the digipak looked very ‘romantic’, and I was pleased, knowing that was my original intention. Click here to see the feedback in more detail
  • 14. ContentsHow did you use media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?ConstructionLEGRIA FS306 CANON CAMERA LEGRIA FS306 CANON CAMERA ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS5 ADOBE PREMIERE PRO CS5 TRIPOD – U8000 SLIK
  • 15. Contents How did you use new media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?ConstructionThe digital camera was the main and most crucial new media item I used in theconstruction of the music video. Without it, there would have been no filming. Ifound it quite easy mastering the camera’s basic functions such as switching iton, using playback, recording and taking photos. During the filming process, I wasexploring the ‘main menu’ on the camera and I came across the ‘Markers’ optionwhich displayed a grid outline over the camera screen. This was very helpful to mebecause it allowed me to be more conscientious about the space in a frame andhow to use it effectively to ensure I was following ‘rule of thirds’ properly. My onlycriticism was that I did not discover it earlier!The tripod aided me in the filming process, helping me to carry out a range ofshots, i.e. tilt shots and panning, as well as ensuring the stability in the footage. Adobe Photoshop CS5 was used in the graphic designing element of the coursework, where I designed the digipak and the promotional poster. The Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 software was used to edit the raw footage. The editing software was a key element in the final construction of the music video because without it I would not have been able to the split-screen effect or a time-lapse.
  • 16. Contents How did you use new media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? GOOGLE.COMResearch & Planning VIMEO.COM WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER MICROSOFT EXCEL 2010 YOUTUBE.COM BLOGGER.COM MICROSOFT WORD 2010
  • 17. ContentsHow did you use new media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?Research & Planning Windows Movie Maker. A basic video editing software that comes with every computer. I used it to do the basic rough cuts of the editing to help give me ideas of how I wanted to edit each scene. It prepared me by helping me to plan for the real editing process. Microsoft Word was used to Blogger was the main blogging illustrate my analytical work. website I used to create my blog For example, the CD covers and and blog posts about the whole the music videos. process from start to finish! Microsoft Excel was used to draw up the mini bar charts Google was used to research further when analysing the data from in to desired areas, such as time- my target audience surveys. lapses. Stop-motion and codes and conventions. My favourite video sharing websites: YouTube and Vimeo helped me to research thoroughly the genre of my music video (i.e. POP/RNB) and also gave me tutorials on how to use the editing software to the maximum potential as well as ideas for various filming techniques.
  • 18. Contents How did you use new media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Evaluation stages FACBOOK.COM TWITTER.COMMSN HOTMAIL
  • 19. ContentsHow did you use new media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?Evaluation stages I used Facebook at various stages when I gained feedback to evaluate the result of my media products. For the promotional poster and digipak I used the social networking website to compose a message to my friends so they could aid me in the creative decision making process and help me decide which digipak and promotional poster version I should use. Other examples of how I used Facebook can be seen on the blog by clicking this link. At one point I did use Twitter to draw in ideas for aspects of my music video. Although not all of the advice ended up being followed, it still allowed me to make decisions about how I wanted the final outcome of a particular aspect in the music video to be, based on what there was to offer. I used Msn Hotmail to upload and e-mail to my friends the edited rough cuts of my music video. The process was not always quick, often it took long because the movie files were large in size and took a lot of memory from the storage of the website, but I did still manage to get very helpful evaluative feedback from my peers.
  • 20. Thank You for reading my evaluation.